Connecting with other women regularly to discuss the gospel was a huge encouragement to me. We were able to talk about our roles as employees, managers, wives, and mothers and see how God wanted us to live in light of His kingdom rule. Surge had a huge impact on the way I interacted with my coworkers, neighbors, friends, and family.


Surge has been galvanizing to our church in our mission of making disciples. We greatly benefited from the holistic approach to learning- reading on your own, discussing together at tables, and putting faith in action throughout the week. We’ve had such a great experience this year that we’ve made surge an essential component of leadership development moving forward.

Andy Beams – Emmaus Church

Surge helped me focus on the mission God has called me to in His kingdom. It helped me view all of my life as an important part of what God is doing to usher in His rule and reign. My table group helped me connect with other guys and get my questions answered.

Mark – Sola Church

I am really impressed with the intentionality and scope of the curriculum that we have been exposed to in Surge. It has allowed our future leaders to grow the depth of their theological understanding and provided a spring board for the further discovery of what mission looks like in the context of our communities. The time commitment for Surge is a large one, but I believe the protracted schedule actually incentivized our people to prioritize their reading assignments and attendance to the discussion times in the midst of their busy lives. The ongoing returns we are experiencing highlight the worthiness of our investment in Surge.

Derick Kelsey – The Embassy Church

“Surge has given us the platform to speak more deeply to our church about living as missionaries in Denver for the good of the city and ultimately the glory of God.”

Luke Blaine – Wellspring Church

About Surge Denver

There is a wonderful scene in the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones where the Spirit comes upon God’s people at Pentecost just as the resurrected Jesus had promised. They threw open the shutter. Sunlight flooded their room, as love had flooded their hearts. And the little room was filled with happy noises. Dancing feet, singing, laughing. They unlocked the door and surged out into the streets – as if they had never been afraid. The disciples surged out into the streets with good news.

Today, we want to prepare the men and women of our churches to surge into their various vocations and neighborhoods displaying and declaring the good news in a wise and winsome way. The Surge School is a 9-month (school year) training that utilizes the following three learning environments.

Learning Environments

Individual Study

Each student is responsible to read all the material in the books and reader. Also, each table leader is responsible to make sure each student commits to a bible reading plan.

Table Group

Each student sits weekly or bi-weekly at a table with 3-7 other leaders from their local church. Students discuss the reading and bring out the implications for life and leadership.


The intensives feature first-rate scholars and front-line church leaders from around the country. Each Intensive will be near the beginning of a quarter and are designed to set up the readings.


Surge Denver maintains four essential distinctives


While the Surge school is not linked with any one denomination or theological school, we do ground our leadership in a robust theology.  Surge has been influenced by and is in some ways a collaboration of the thought of Mike Goheen, Chris Wright, and Tim Keller. Churches of all sorts, shapes and sizes are welcome to the table!


Surge is not a parachurch ministry. We do not train leaders for your churches. Surge is simply a structure that local church pastors and elders use to work together to train leaders within our local churches.

Holistic Education

Surge is not simply the acquisition of information. It is not less than that, but it is more.  Surge contains three specific learning environments in which each student must participate. Together these environments provide a context for all-of-life discipleship.


The Curriculum for Surge is based on a four-quarter system, in which the content of each quarter builds on the previous one and follows a big-small-big-small motif:

Quarter 1: Gospel Story – The Drama of Scripture by Mike Goheen
Quarter 2: Gospel and Heart – Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt
Quarter 3: Gospel Mission – Mission of God’s People by Chris Wright
Quarter 4: Gospel Calling – Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller
Quarters 1 – 4: Companion Workbook (contains quarter reading schedule, supplemental articles by various authors, and a guide for table discussions)

Having established a foundation in the Grand Story of the Bible (Q1), we seek to apply the gospel to our own hearts (Q2). We then ask what the specific mission of God’s people is (Q3) before finally talking about how to faithfully lead in light of all we’ve learned in our vocations and neighborhoods (Q4).  The Companion Reader includes a schedule for reading the main texts of the curriculum with your tables, as well as supplemental articles.

The curriculum is bound together by a practical application tool called the Surge Practices. These practices provide the shape and direction for our tables and our lives.  Every table leader should be using these practices to conduct their surge table and every surge participant should be actively using these in their personal formation throughout each week.


Surge Practices follow the B.L.E.S.S. acronym.

Bless — Bless 3 people this week (believer, unbeliever, someone not like you)
Listen — Listen to God and listen to your world (neighbors)
Eat — Eat with 3 people this week (believer, unbeliever, someone not like you)
Speak — Speak to God in prayer and Speak to others about Jesus (make him an everyday part of your conversation)
Sabbath — Rest and recreate

Michael Goheen

Michael Goheen

Quarter One Intensive Speaker

Read Bio
Michael Goheen is Director of Theological Education and Scholar-in-Residence (Missional Theology), Missional Training Center—Phoenix. He is also Professor of Missional Theology, Newbigin House of Studies, San Francisco, and Jake and Betsy Tuls Professor of Missiology, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids. He divides his time between Vancouver, B.C. and Tempe, AZ. He has been married to Marnie for 34 years. He has four adult married children and six grandchildren.
Jeff Vanderstelt

Jeff Vanderstelt

Quarter Two Intensive Speaker

Read Bio

Jeff Vanderstelt is lead teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington, and visionary leader of the Soma Family of Churches and Saturate resource ministry. He is author, most recently, of the book Gospel Fluency. He and his wife have three children.

Jim Mullins

Jim Mullins

Quarter Three Intensive Speaker

Read Bio
Jim Mullins is the pastor of theological and vocational formation for Redemption Church in and helps lead the Surge Network in Arizona. He has worked as a pastor, entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, and a basketball scout in Turkey. He’s the co-founder of several organizations, including the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers, Uzbek Justice Initiative, and Peace Catalyst International. He’s married to Jenny, and has a six-year old daughter named Elliana. They spend their time watching basketball, cooking Middle Eastern food, and being completely ineffective gardeners.
Steven Garber

Steven Garber

Quarter Four Intensive Speaker

Read Bio
Steven Garber is the principal of The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation & Culture, which is focused on reframing the way people understand life, especially the meaning of vocation and the common good. A consultant to foundations, corporations and educational institutions, he is a teacher of many people in many places. The author of The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior, and Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, he is also a contributor to the books, Faith Goes to Work: Reflections from the Marketplace, and Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalogue. He lives with his wife Meg in Virginia.


  • August 20th, 2017 – Deadline for registration
  • August 27th, 2017 – Quarter One Starts
  • TBD – Quarter One Intensive: “Gospel Story” – Mike Goheen
  • October 22nd, 2017 – Quarter Two Starts
  • October 27-28th – Quarter Two Intensive: “Gospel Fluency and Everyday Mission” – Jeff Vanderstelt (register here)
  • January 14th, 2018 – Quarter Three Starts
  • TBD – Quarter Three Intensive: “The Holistic Mission of the Church” – Jim Mullins
  • March 18th, 2018 – Quarter Four Starts
  • TBD – Quarter Four Intensive/Graduation:


3 + 1 =


Meet Our Partners

organizations we learn from and work with